Surrounded on every side (Lk 19:43-19:43)

“Indeed,

The days

Will come upon you,

When your enemies

Will set up ramparts

Around you.

They will hem you in

On every side.”

 

ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that bad days were coming to Jerusalem (ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ).  Jesus said that it would come to them when their enemies would put up a barricade against them (καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι).  They would surround them (καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε) so that they would be hemmed in on every side (καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν).  This is the only Greek biblical use of the word περικυκλώσουσίν that means to hem them in on every side, encircle, surround, or encompass.  Jesus was using the words and images of the ancient Israelite prophets against Jerusalem.  Isaiah, chapter 29:1-3, called Jerusalem Ariel, a symbolic name for Jerusalem and its altar.  Isaiah, warned Jerusalem about what was going to happen to it.  Yahweh was going to encamp against it and set up siege works against it.  They would be able to speak only from below the earth and the dust.  Their voices would be reduced to a whisper, like a ghost in the middle of this dust pile.  Jeremiah, chapter 6:6-8, warned Jerusalem that its enemies were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem, because this city needed to be punished.  There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her.  Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around.  Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus, it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning.  Ezekiel, chapter 4:1-3, also condemned Jerusalem with Ezekiel’s symbolic action.  A voice told Ezekiel to be an expert model Lego builder of the siege of Jerusalem.  Ezekiel, the son of man, was to take a brick and portray the city of Jerusalem.  He was to put the siege works with a siege wall against this city.  He was to put a ramp and camps against this city with battering rams all around it.  Then he was to take an iron plate and make an iron wall between himself and the city, looking at it.  Thus, there was a state of siege, a sign for the house of Israel.  Ezekiel was part of the exiles from 598 BCE before the taking of Jerusalem and the second captivity in 587 BCE.  Of course, here this was allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Roman soldiers putting down a revolution in Judea.  Luke would have known about this at the time of his writing.  Have you ever seen a city destroyed?

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The end of Jerusalem’s lewdness in Egypt (Ezek 23:27-23:28)

“‘So I will put an end

To your lewdness.

I will put an end

To your prostitution activities

That you brought

From the land of Egypt.

You shall not long for them.

You shall not remember

Egypt anymore.’

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will deliver you

Into the hands

Of those whom you hate.

I will deliver you

Into the hands

Of those from whom

You turned in disgust.’”

Yahweh was going to put an end to the prostitution activities and lewdness of Jerusalem that she had brought from Egypt. Jerusalem had longed for and remembered her youth in Egypt. Yahweh was now going to deliver Jerusalem into the hands of those who had hated her. He was going to give her over to those former lovers from whom she had turned away from in disgust.

Yahweh turns from Oholibah (Ezek 23:18-23:18)

“When Oholibah carried on
Her prostitution activities
So openly,
She flaunted
Her nakedness.
I turned
In disgust
From her,
As I had turned
From her sister.”
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was clear. He did not like the fact that Oholibah, Jerusalem, was openly flaunting her naked body with all her prostitution ways. This led Yahweh to turn away from her in disgust, as he had done to her sister Oholah, Samaria.

The lust after the Babylonians (Ezek 23:16-23:17)

“When Oholibah saw them,
She lusted after them.
She sent messengers
To them
In Chaldea.
The Babylonians
Came to her
Into her bed of love.
They defiled her
With their lust.
After she defiled herself
With them,
She turned
From them
In disgust.”
When Oholibah saw these pictures, she lusted after the Babylonians. Thus she sent messengers to them in Chaldea, inviting them to come to Jerusalem. They came to her in her bed of love. Thus they defiled her with their sexual lust. She had, in fact, defiled herself with them. Finally, she turned away from them in disgust.

Warning against Jerusalem (Jer 6:6-6:8)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Cut down her trees!

Cast up a siege ramp

Against Jerusalem!

This is the city

That must be punished!

There is nothing but oppression

Within her!

As a well keeps its water fresh,

So she keeps fresh her wickedness.

Violence is heard within her.

Destruction is heard within her.

Sickness is ever before me.

Wounds are ever before me.

Take warning!

O Jerusalem!

Otherwise I shall turn from you

In disgust.

I will make you a desolation.

I will make you an uninhabited land.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, warned Jerusalem. They were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem because this city needed to be punished. There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her. Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around. Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning.

Rescue me (Ps 119:153-119:160)

Resh

“Look on my misery!

Rescue me!

I do not forget your law.

Plead my cause!

Redeem me!

Give me life

According to your promise!

Salvation is far from the wicked.

They do not seek your statutes.

Great is your mercy!

Yahweh!

Give me life

According to your justice!

Many are my persecutors.

Many are my adversaries.

Yet I do not swerve from your decrees.

I look at the faithless with disgust.

Because they do not keep your commands.

Consider how I love your precepts!

Preserve my life

According to your steadfast love!

The sum of your word is truth.

Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.”

This psalmist wanted to be rescued from his misery because he had not forgotten the law. He wanted a defense attorney and a redeemer. He wanted his life as Yahweh had promised. The wicked would not be saved because they did not seek Yahweh’s statutes. Yahweh’s mercy was great so that his justice would also help him. Although he had many persecutors and adversaries the psalmist did not swerve from Yahweh’s decrees. He looked at the unfaithful in disgust because they did not keep Yahweh’s commands. He, on the other hand, loved Yahweh’s precepts. He wanted his life preserved because of Yahweh’s love. The word of Yahweh is truth so that every one of his just ordinances would endure forever. So ends this section on the twentieth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Resh.

 

Job responds to his accusers (Job 16:1-16:5)

“Then Job answered.

‘I have heard many such things.

You are miserable comforters!

Have windy words no limit?

What provokes you that you keep on talking?

I also talk as you do.

If you were in my place,

I could join words together against you.

I could shake my head at you.

I could encourage you with my mouth.

The solace of my lips would assuage your pain.’”

Job responded that they were miserable comforters. Why did they keep on talking? Job could talk also. If the tables were turned, he could talk against them. However, he would encourage them with mouth and words to ease their pain, not the opposite as they have done. The idea of shaking one’s head was a sign of disgust and derision.